Ahh! You just attempted to pay for your morning coffee with your debit card and the girl working at the register’s brow furrows… “I’m sorry, it’s not going through – do you have another card?” …No! You don’t! Now everyone behind you on the line is growing impatient. An angry man butts his head in “If you can’t pay, move it!” Another, irate lady chimes in “Why don’t you just leave?” You well up with embarrassment and run out into the street, tears streaming down your face. Your ex and their new, fashion model lover see you and they unsuccessfully stifle laughter. Your pants then split down the middle.
Hypothetical histrionics aside, finding yourself in debt is not fun. Whether you owe colossal college loans, lost half your fortune in a divorce or just have been inadvertently spending beyond your means, when your checking account reads “$-48.71,” it’s time to make some adjustments. Often we will frantically rush and make brash decisions to rectify the situation (selling your only property, selling your only remaining kidney, selling your soul to Lucifer), but much like the popular, often reconfigured meme states, it’s important to “Keep Calm and ____.” Here are Ten (10) steadfast rules on how to stay smart and handle the stress like a champ.
10) Cut the extraneous expenditures, but not the essentials.
Good idea: stop buying those expensive coffees and lattes every day. You don’t need them and they can really add up.
Bad idea: stop buying ALL food and subsist off of Certs offered from co-workers and the occasional communion wafer or morsel from a Whole Foods sample tray.
9) Engage in some fun and FREE activities for recreation.
Instead of going to see 3-D movies every weekend, go for a nice walk. If you hate physical activity of any nature then just stay home and watch an 80’s movie from a pirated Netflix account.
8) Talk to your creditors about a DMP (that’s a Debt Management Plan, not a Dirty Martini Procedure).
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how you can consolidate loans/debt into a plan that has a significantly lower interest rate. …Then you can celebrate with high-alcohol content drinks.
7) Stop spending lots of money on dates.
This can really cripple your finances if you’re the one shelling out all the bucks when you go out. If the person you’re with isn’t sympathetic to the fact that you’re currently broke, then kick them to the gilded curb from whence they came. Try out OKCupid for finding similarly destitute partners (or, better yet, a Sugar Momma/Poppa!)
6) Stop driving everywhere and get a dang bike.
Don’t want to look like a helmeted nerd as you pedal past your friends in their Mercedes? Well you should’ve thought of that before you racked up 12 grand in debt on your Barney’s credit card.
5) When all seems lost, just remember how hard your grandparents had it.
Seriously. Most grandparents grew up in the Dust Bowl or a factory like one described in Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”…or New Jersey. You’ve got it relatively easy. Just breathe and look at a sunset or something.
4) Tell your kids/pets to chill.
“Sorry little Johnny (or Snuggles): no treats for you this month. It stinks, really, but we need to get through this together, as a family (or owner/begger). “ Once you’re in the black again, you can spoil them with Pokemon/Snausages.
3) Stop going to amusement parks.
This one you’re just too old for.
2) Don’t sell off your real estate in a tizzy.
It’s so tempting to put whatever property you have on the market for a quick financial fix. Don’t succumb to the little real estate agent devil on your shoulder poking you with his pitchfork and suggesting this idea; you’ll burn through any newly acquired money and be right back where you started. Your house/condo/love shack is the only thing keeping your credit alive.
1) Do sell your jewelry.
This stuff isn’t doing you ANY good. Whether it’s collecting dust at the bottom of a musty jewelry box, or you’re wearing each piece with false pride, selling your jewelry (especially diamonds) is the most viable and intelligent thing you can do when in debt. The best place to do this? The place that will get you the MOST money for your diamond jewelry. That’s Diamond Lighthouse. Find out how, why and more NOW.